Graphic by Desteny Casanova

Life after High School

Seniors Goals and Dreams

‘For this year’s seniors, many will shortly be graduating this June, which is only a few months away. As students come to term with this, they have to prepare themselves for life after high school. Many students have had goals set since they were young. 

“My main goals have stayed consistent,” senior McKenzie Wysong said. “I’ve always wanted to become a teacher. I just figured out during freshman year that I wanted to be a high school English teacher.”

For the seniors of 2022, COVID has greatly affected their high school experience. Their sophomore year came to a halt and their junior year was a hybrid/virtual schedule. 

“I did my junior year virtually and that was something new I had to adapt to,” senior Crystal Tran said. “I think I did good, but it definitely isn’t how I imagined my junior year would be before COVID. COVID-19 definitely is a bit of a distraction, it’s hard to say I feel safe because I’m always thinking the people I just passed in the hallway have it. It’s hard to put all my energy into what I want when part of it is being used to worry about COVID.” 

Although COVID has disrupted seniors’ high school experience, many still try to make the best of it. 

“COVID has affected my goals because it’s made it more stressful to get things accomplished,” Wysong said. “I was going to give up on my goals and I realized that I’ve been working so hard to get here and why should I give up now. I’ve learned that staying positive in times like these is incredibly valuable.”

For seniors that plan on attending college next year, the first part of this process was college applications.

“I applied to most of my colleges through the Common App,” Tran said. “It’s pretty simple, you just fill out basic information, some stuff about your activities and what you do, and then an essay.”

Although choosing a major for college can be difficult, some students have already started planning and have decided. 

“I’ve applied to several colleges so far,” senior Molly Mendenhall said. “’l’ll be attending Notre Dame and majoring in business and music.”

Senior year can have many mixed emotions and there is a large variety of feelings towards this year. 

“Well, this year has been kind of difficult with the pandemic and it being senior year,” Mendenhall said. “Having a lot of extra stress besides homework and extracurricular activities. There is a lot going on and I think that’s true for everyone and not just seniors. Everyone has been facing a lot of challenges this year, but overall it’s going pretty well.” 

Having goals can really push students to work hard and finish off their senior year on a positive note. 

“Having these goals helps me overcome stress,” Wysong said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for me. Although I’m excited for this year, I can’t wait to achieve my goal of going to Earlham and becoming a teacher.” 

An important thing to remember is that goals are something that students should be reaching for and not stressing over. 

“Overall, I just want to maintain good grades and I’d like to get some scholarships to pay for college,” Tran said. “I’ve just tried to continue putting a focus on school and trying my best on homework and tests because I like being a good student. I never will put too much pressure on myself.”

After deciding on goals, the next step is pursuing them. 

“All throughout high school I’ve participated in Business Professionals of America and the Chamber Choir,” Mendenhall said. “I’ve also been taking piano lessons since first grade. A lot of that time has been spent pursuing my goals in my extracurriculars. They’ve been my main outlet for pursuing these goals, [as well] focusing on getting good grades.”

Making sure to have balance during senior year is one of the most crucial things. 

“I try to plan out when I will get things done and make sure there’s extra time because things never go as [planned,]” Tran said. “I try to be organized and get my work done. I think over the past 4 years, I’ve been able to test my limits and figure out what works for me and know what I can and can’t do in a limited amount of time.”

Goals can be interests and something that is enjoyable to students. They can be something that they’ve been doing their entire lives or they could be something new. 

“I’ve always had a lot of interests throughout my life so it’s been pretty difficult to pinpoint one or two things,” Mendenhall said. “Music has always stayed consistent. My family has done a lot of things through business. I think I want to continue along that path that my family has paved and create my own path with music. Business management is likely the route I’ll be taking. Business knowledge will help me develop a career in music. Having knowledge of the industry and how business works, in general, will really help me with that. Through business I could always help other artists start their careers and get into the industry.”

Tran shares advice to her peers as well as future seniors. 

“I would tell my fellow seniors to focus more on who you are as a person and remember that academics don’t define who you are,” she said.” Try your best and know that if things don’t go your way, it’s not the end, just a new beginning.”


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